JCCS Preview: JNC “Showa Motor Club” Kenmeri Shirt

It’s a JNC tradition to debut a new shirt design at JCCS, and each year we choose a theme that marks a historic occasion. For 2012 we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the fourth-generation Nissan Skyline, which debuted in September 1972, with two shirts — standard and limited edition.

The History: The kenmeri was more than a car. It came at a time when Japan was beginning to drive for pleasure. The previous generation secured the Skyline name in Japanese racing legend, and the next one promised to bring road trips and romance to the masses. Its sun-drenched Ken & Mary commercials transcended the car itself and became a Beatles-like phenomenon, forming the car’s nickname. It was Nihon’s own “See the USA in your Chevrolet,” and even today the jingle evokes instant nostalgia for the Showa Era among the Japanese, car nuts or not.

The Shirt: Our Showa Motor Club shirt aims to capture that time. The “1972″ font is the exact one used in Nissan’s famous “Skyline” heart. The kanji names two locations instrumental to the development of the Skyline. Kusatsu is where Father of the Skyline Shinichiro Sakurai came up with the name “Skyline” after looking out towards the ridge formed by the distant mountains. Biei is the location of “Ken & Mary Tree,” a poplar used in the commercials that has become something of a tourist destination for nostalgic Japanese.

Version 01: Black on heather gray. Reminiscent of the kenmeri GT-R road car’s silver paint with black flares and mirrors. “Distressed” ink.

Version 02: Super shiny gold leaf on dark green, harkening to the 1972 Skyline GT-R Tokyo Motor Show show car. Due to the expense, this will be a limited edition print. No more than 110 (the chassis code of the kenmeri Skyline) will be made. It will be offered it to JCCS attendees first, and if there are any left over they will appear in the JNC shop after the show.

And lastly, JCCS attendees will have a special opportunity to your kenmeri shirt autographed by Mary herself, the actress Diane Krey-Wesley who played Mary in the famous commercials!

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9 Responses to JCCS Preview: JNC “Showa Motor Club” Kenmeri Shirt

  1. vballin said:

    Jun Imai, Mary AND new shirts?!? I’ll definitely be first in line at the JNC booth!

  2. Nigel said:

    Very very cool shirt.

  3. jivecom said:

    it would have been a dream come true to have jun and diane sign my unopened hot wheels kenmeri while i bought a shirt with a kenmeri on it, since kenmeris are my favourite skylines (except maybe the iron mask R30s, but i dunno i kinda segregate my “favourites” lists by decade so they both win)

  4. _JohnK said:

    I doubt that there’ll be any of the limited edition ones left after the show but I sure hope that there are.

  5. ErikFM said:

    I live in cali, but I’m unable to make it to the LB show :\ is the regular edition shirt going to be up for sale on the site once the shows over?

  6. Tyler said:

    This will likely be the first shirt I buy from the JNC shop. Very nice. Wish I could attend the show and get a limited edition shirt, as they’re sure to sell out.

    I gotta get moving on that Kenmeri art contest too! Aghh

    • Tyler said:

      Also, it’s worth mentioning. Even though it’s a GT-R, thank you for not writing that anywhere on it. No offense to anyone, but I’m tired of the R35 fanboi hordes.

  7. Shane_lxi said:

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Put these in the shop already!!